Since Cataclysms release I have not ran a single Raid instance, nope not one, nada, zero, zilch. If you were to go back in time and inform a past version of me during Vanilla, The Burning Crusade, or even Wrath, that they would not be running raids come a future expansion I would have either died of laughter or disbelief. Its not that I am a powerhouse raider or anything like that, in fact I am as casual at raiding as one can get.
I have been to Icecrown Crown Citadel, both 10 and 25 man versions, and garnered some nice loot. But to date I have failed to acquire the King Slayer moniker and don’t really care that I haven’t. It has occurred to me that I couldn’t remember the last time I had been to a dungeon for that matter. I still play the game (Although not as much as in the past.), so what exactly am I doing with all my time and why am I not raiding?
WOW without Raiding
To some people the concept of playing World of Warcraft without an active dungeon or raiding aspect is some what pointless. For me it has always been just a portion of the game I have come to love and something I did when I wanted to. I have never had the time or desire for the single minded focus a true hard core raider must have in order to successfully complete raiding in WOW. I applaud those that are able to conquer everything that Blizzard throws at them, but for me it’s just not that important.
With that being said I have never played this game before without some form of dungeon or raiding game play. There has always been some type of progressive gear building for PVE, but now I seem unwilling to climb that ladder. Although I am focusing a lot lately on PVP gear, this is also not the answer to the demise of PVE content for me. I have always balanced the two aspects during my time in game and maintained a desire to run both.
After some minor soul searching, I believe I have come up with the number one reason why I am not raiding anymore and it is rather simple, I just don’t want to. Dungeon running and raiding (Which for this topic I will now call PVE Progression) and the loot it provides, has lost its fun factor and luster for me. PVE Progression in Cataclysm has had that “been there, done that” feel which I just can’t shake. I am actually at the point where running dungeon after dungeon and then repeating the same for raiding is actually distasteful for me.
Now I understand it is not the games overall fault for this drastic change in my gaming behavior, but it must hold some responsibility for my apparent burnout as each new dungeon and each new raid is basically the same thing as before with a few extra mechanics here and there. WoW has been plugging along with the same instance structure since the beginning of time and although some minor changes may have occurred, it is basically the same thing as it has always been which is an advanced game of sequence memorization with a gear check.
PVE Progression in WoW has for the most part been an advanced game of Simon says in which each player reacts to a preconfigured series of events. Before most players ever step into a Dungeon or Raid they can look up strategies and videos of the fight and gain a basic understanding of what to do next. Although I don’t begrudge Blizzards way of PVE design (They make a lot more money doing it than I do, because I make 0) There methods are not my personal ideal way of playing a game. With that in mind I just feel that the PVE Progession ladder climb is not for me anymore.
As long as a player can meet the following criteria – connection doesn’t lag (which was a killer in the safety dance), reads a strat guide, installs add-ons (Deadly Boss Mods and such), has sufficient gear, and can think and react on the fly, they can beat anything this game has to offer. Sadly for me the one thing missing from this is the unknown factor.
Raiding has no suspense or surprises anymore. I want to have to react to unexpected changes, to walk into a raid and marvel at it all, to enjoy that sensation of trepidation. I can’t do that with pre defined instances which can be viewed on YouTube. Now the expected response from others will be for me to not watch the videos, install add-ons or learn about the instance before entering, but is that really possible? How many raiders would put up with my uneducated and ill informed self before dropping in a fit of rage? For Cataclysm, Blizzard has made raiding harder, but that doesn’t necessarily equate to better or even different.
I Guess it’s Just Me
Although I highly doubt I am the only one that feels this way about raiding, I imagine the majority of the raiding community is still having a good time. I am truly happy for them and hope they get all they can out of the game, but for me I guess I am just missing that feeling you got when first entering Blackwing lair or Karazhan. With each release of an Expansion, raiding has lost its newness for me and I think I am just at the tipping point of not being entertained anymore.